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Chapter NumberIII
Chapter Url
Full Date1880-12-18
Page Number37
Word Count704
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleAdelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904)
Trove TitleSir Denis O'Donoghue. A Reminiscence of the English Bar
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(Author of " Twelve True Tales of the Law.")



I kept up my acquaintance with O'Donoghue, whom I had many opportunity oi meeting; and though we did not always have claret cup together, yet we often conversed upon legal subjects, particularly when I had any business of difficulty, and, on legal as on other matters, I found my opposite neighbour a man of learn ing and experience.

Presently O'Donoghue ceased to make his chambers his residence, from whence I conjec tured, as it proved correctly, that he was married. The next long vacation had scarcely commenced when he told me that he had taken a wife and also a cottage in the country, within the area of his own Circuit, where he meant to spend his long vacation and keep a pig, and it would give him and his companion great pleasure if I would en liven their dulness wilh my company for as long as 1 pleased.

I went down accordingly to Braystoke, near which was Mildmate Cottage, the residence of my friend. I found it a pleasant place with a garden and paddock, and containing inter alia Mrs. O'Donoghue.

She was certainly a lady of great beauty and striking appearance, and her husband seemed very pleased with her and treated her very civilly. Her behaviour, however, disappointed me. I had expected to find her very proud of her husband, who, in the opinion of all men, aDd, I should have hoped of most women, would be regarded as a very fine fellow and a great acquisition.

But whatever may have been the lady's seoret opinion, her behaviour did not display anything like au intelligent and affectionate appreciation of him. She showed a tendency to complain of everything, and principally of things which her husband was unable to rectify. She spoke with a sigh of enjoyment which ended with her marriage, lamented her husband's restricted means, and cast a doubt on the valueof bis talents,of which she had heard so much—though certainly not from himself—in view of the meagre success which had till then rewarded his efforts in his profession.

These observations, which at first seemed care lessly flung about, as if for the benefit of either of us who might choose to pick them up, began to my horror to be addressed more and more to me. Sometimes I received them in silence, and sometimes by such a remark or such a statement of fact or fiction as I thought might tend to make her more satisfied with her lot.

One day as we sat in the garden after tea, (for we dined early,) just as I was beginning to think I bad been long enough at Mildmate Cottage, O'Donoghue tried to interest me by telling me that he had been improving his leisure down in the country by sketching out a little treatise on Merger, and he said it would give him great pleasure to have my opinion on the

few notes he had made.

"I'll just read you my first chapter," said he; " for though my writing is clear, you would be puzzled at the many interlineations."

"Merger," he began, "is where a greater and a less estate coincide in the same person."

" A sort of matrimony in fact," broke in Mrs. O'Donoghue, " where the husband mingles his wife's guineas with his own coppers in the airne pocket."

" Mihi seepe bilem" said I, " smpejacum vestri

movere tumultus."

"Which means," said O'Donoghue to his wife, " that your running commentary has quite upset Fandi'e legal digestion."

" Come along, Oopia," he continued, putting his manuscript in his pocket, " come and smoke a cigar in the antrum fori."

"Ah anteroom fear—eye indeed!" said Mrs. O'Donoghue in a creaking voice; " I see through your dog-Latin. You want to persuade Mr. Fandi that you must take refuge in your study because you're afraid of your wife."

I resolved to leave Mildmate Oottage the next morning.

" Let us endeavour," said O' Donoghne, going to the cupboard in his antrum feri, "to seek relief from the domestic in the bacchanalion jar."